Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Summary: AU. The annual Grand Magical Competition is about to begin, and the Konoha government wants to stop it. Team Defence is sent to stop the competition. To Sasori, it seems easy, but when a mysterious fighter injures him, his whole perspective and life changes.

Raintrees: I decided to write a story which includes magic powers, hopefully I wrote it ok :D

Chapter 1

Leader Tsunade was sitting in her workchair in her large office. In front of her desk stood several hooded figures. None of them spoke a single word, and they looked very solemn. They were the renowned secret force, Team Defence. All of them were specialised in magic and defence moves, and had been called in by Tsunade to deal with a special matter - The Grand Magical Competition, to be held in a month's time.

"So, have you found out anything about the competition and the teams yet?" asked Tsunade, looking at the team.

A pink-haired fighter nodded her head. "Tsunade-sama, we have checked up on all the teams and the competition dates. We will be entering the competition too in secret, using code names, and we will be able to analyze the competitors by this. As soon as we do, we will catch them all in one swoop and disable their powers."

Tsunade nodded. "Good, Sakura. The competitors should know better that to hold magic competitions illegally. The competition might harm the local citizens, so I would like you to prevent any damage that may be caused by the competition."

At this point, Kiba stepped forward. He clapped his hands twice and drew a circle in the air. A glowing circle appeared out of nowhere and Kiba snapped his fingers. A scroll fell into his hands and he presented it to Tsunade, who immediately unrolled it and read it carefully. She smiled in satisfaction.

"This is the scroll of the competitors group names and members, as well as their powers," said Kiba.

"Good job, Team Defence. I knew that you all were the most reliable and powerful force around. I'm sure you all will be able to carry out your mission smoothly."

"It was nothing, Tsunade-sama," said the entire team, bowing their heads.

"Well, I have some outsider information for all of you," said Shizune, Tsunade's most trusted assistant, "there seems to be rumours spreading around that it is the 'newbie acceptance year', and each team is allowed to accept newbies into their group. I would like you to find out more about these newbies as well."

"Yes, we will do as you have said," replied the whole team.

"Well then, everyone, you all are dismissed," finished Tsunade.

Bowing their heads, the whole group of hooded figures stretched out one of their palms, used a basic wind teleportation skill and disappeared with a gust of wind.


The dark night was like a sheet of black cloth covering illuminated city, with a nice round full moon gently stroking the buildings with its soft moonlight. The city was bustling below, and quiet and windy at the top. Standing on the top of the highest building in the city, Sasori Akasuna looked down at the well-lit streets and bright lights. His cloak was fluttering in the wind, and he still had his hood on. The city was so complicated - with lies, deception and pain, yet it was all covered with the glamour and beauty of the colourful lights, advertisement banners, flashing large plasma screens and materialistic dreams. This was why he had chosen to dedicate his life to fighting and practising magic, and live a life without much thought, save for his missions. His only goal, though, was to be the best fighter in the whole city, so that he could kill his only kin, his grandmother, who had chosen to dump him in the city dump when he was only two years old.

He looked down at the city, sighing as the wind blew through his short red hair, blowing his hood down. He looked like a child, even though he was already twenty years old. One of the best fighters in Team Defence, he had dedicated his life to the organization since he was ten. He had been trained in such a way that in his mind, there was only his missions, his goals and his targets. But ever since he had met the rest of Team Defence, they had melted a portion of his ice-cold heart. Now, the only part frozen was the hatred he held for his grandmother.

As Sasori remained deep in thought, he didn't notice Sakura walking up to him. The pink-haired girl was one of the beauties in the whole defence and attacking departments. She had beautiful shiny green eyes and cherry-blossom pink hair, and was strong-willed and a little tomboyish. She had super strength and a persuasive voice, and had many suitors from various departments chasing after her. She received as many as five confessions a month, but turned them all down, all because of one redhead. Yes, Sakura loved the quiet Sasori very much, and decided that she would not accept anyone's love except for his.

"What's up?" she asked, looking at the redhead with concern.

Sasori turned to face the speaker. "Ah, Sakura," he said.

"You don't look so good, Sasori," Sakura said, removing her hood, "is something the matter?"

"Nothing," came the reply, "I just have a feeling that something is going to happen tonight."

Sakura looked questioningly at the redhead, but said nothing. As the wind blew strongly at her cloak and soulder length hair, her cellphone rang. She picked it up quickly as soon as she saw that it was Shino.

"Yes, Shino?"

"Sakura, are you with anyone right now?"

"Yeah, Sasori."

"Good. We have spotted a competitor called Tobi, and Hinata and Ino are currently chasing after him. He appears to be heading towards the city area. Go now with Sasori to capture him!"

"Alright." Sakura ended the call and turned to Sasori, who was looking at her.

"Shino called?"

"Yes, and he wants us to catch a certain competitor called Tobi. According to the files, he wears an orange swirly mask, and had short spiky hair. He's heading for the city right now, which is where we both are. Lets go find him now," said Sakura.

Sasori nodded, and the two attackers leapt off the tall building into the night.


"You won't get away, scumbag!"

Ino gritted her teeth as she performed yet another fire spell and aimed the fireball at the orange-masked competitor, Tobi. Tobi was running and leaping around the city so fast that Ino could hardly catch up with his movements. He aimed a blast of water at Ino, but it missed barely by a few inches. Ino wasn't going to lose, too.

"Hinata, use the lightning spell to trap him in the next alley!" she called out to her partner, a white-eyed girl who was chasing the competitor as well.

Hinata complied, and balled her hands into fists. Lightning sparks began to fly from her hands as they began to glow. Soon, she had two shards of lightning in her fists. Taking a careful aim, she threw them at Tobi, and hit him on the back.


"Nice one, Hinata!" Sakura called out, as she appeared from nowhere and landed beside Tobi, giving him a huge punch to knock him out. But as she hit the man, he disappeared in a cloud of smoke.

"It's a shadow clone!" yelled Ino in anger, looking around for Tobi. But he was nowhere to be seen. He had escaped.

Sasori, on the other hand, had notice Tobi escaping from the girls. He quickly followed Tobi, and as they leapt from building to building, Sasori quickly used a "puppeteer technique". Strings of electricity formed at the tips of his fingers and branched out like long ropes, aiming for Tobi. The technique succeeded, and Tobi was caught by the strings. Moving his fingers deftly like a puppet master, Sasori managed to slam the competitor down into a deserted alley.

"Ouch," mumbled Tobi, rubbing his head weakly as Sasori landed a few metres in front of him. "Oh crap," he gasped, looking at the redhead. There was no escape now. There were no loopholes for him to make shadow clones, or escape using a wind teleportation technique. He was doomed.

"Glad you know that you are doomed," said Sasori coldly as he advanced nearer to Tobi. A ball of fire was slowly forming in his hand. It was black fire, one of the deadliest fires of the magic world. If you got burnt by it, your wound would never recover.

Tobi looked frantically around for an escape route, but there was none. "You twerp..." he muttered, unable to fight back. His legs and hands were injured by the electric strings, and whenever he moved them, he felt pain in his body.

"You're going back with me," said Sasori, the ball of fire in his hands getting bigger and bigger by the second. Tobi gulped as Sasori came closer. Surely this wasn't the end...

Well, it wasn't, lucky for Tobi.

Suddenly, a cloaked figure landed in front of Tobi and gave Sasori a swift kick. Sasori was pushed back by the force of the kick, as the cloaked figure quickly clapped his hands once and stretched out his palm. a huge blast of water was shot at Sasori, extinguishing the ball of black fire in his hand. Sasori bit his lip as he saw the flame go out. This guy was clearly another competitor who knew magic!

Sasori stood back and clapped his hands thrice. A huge flame appeared out of nowhere, and he directed it towards the cloaked figure. This attack should do it, thought Sasori.

But no, it didn't work. The cloaked figure quickly stretched out his hands and a weird gun-like machine dropped into his hands. Aiming it at the ball of fire, the cloaked figure quickly fired the trigger and a blast of black mist swallowed the whole fire, stunning Sasori altogether. A few seconds later, the redhead gained composure, and ran forward, not caring about the mist anymore. He saw the cloaked figure carrying Tobi in his arms, ready to leave the alley, but Sasori wasn't going to let that happen. He reached for a small kunai and threw at at the cloaked figure, pinning the cloak to the wall. The cloak tore a little, revealing the figure's blue shiny eyes and long golden hair. The person gasped.

Sasori stared at the figure. It was a girl, or so he thought. But from his voice, Sasori could tell that it was actually a guy. The person's long fringe covered half of his face, and a long black cloth covered his nose and mouth. Sasori couldn't make out who the person was, but was sure that he had never ever seen the person before. He was dumbfounded for a moment, as the person's long shiny hair reflected the pale moonlight.

Seizing this chance, the cloaked figure broke himself free from the wall, grabbed the kunai and tossed it into the air. It turned into a clay bird, which fluttered to Sasori's side quickly. Casting one final glance at Sasori, the figure muttered "Katsu", and watched as the clay bird exploded with a huge bang, clouding the whole alley with smoke and dust. Sasori coughed and covered his mouth and nose with his cloak sleeve, making a futile attempt to advance forward. His arm was injured by the blast, and the smoke was too thick; he didn't even know where he was going, and there was no time to wear his smoke vision goggles.

The cloaked figure then carried Tobi and leapt away from the alley hastily. As he did so, his waist belt accidentally caught onto the barbed wire of wire fence in the alley, and a small keychain dropped onto the floor. But he did not notice this; he quickly fled the alley.

Minutes later, when the smoke had cleared, Sasori ran towards the barbed wire fence. But it was too late - the cloaked figure and Tobi were gone. There was no one in the dark alley except for him. As he walked to the fence, cursing silently, his feet kicked something which sounded like metal. This got his attention; he looked down to see what it was. So, it was a small metal keychain, with a small metal bird dangling from the metal ring, as well as a small locket. Sasori picked it up slowly, and fingered it, feeling strange. Whose keychain was this? It certainly hadn't been there when he was alone with Tobi in the alley.

Suddenly, it dawned on the redhead that the keychain was the golden-haired boy's. He gripped it tightly in his hand, and looked at the locket. Curiously, he opened the locket delicately, only to find a soft, sweet melody playing, making him relax. It was a music box locket.

Sasori decided that he would keep this keychain instead of handing it over to Tsunade.


Meanwhile, in an apartment in the darker part of the city, a certain group called the Akatsuki - the members were discussing some things when the door opened suddenly. A cloaked figure entered the room as all the fourteen pairs of eyes rested on him.

"Hey, what's up, Deidara?" asked Kakuzu, looking at Tobi.

The cloaked figure sighed, and removed his hood. He laid Tobi on an empty couch, and groaned as he saw the latter sleeping away.

"He got himself into trouble with Team Defence. I guess he let his guard down."

The group leader, Pein, looked sharply at Tobi, who was drooling all over the couch. "He's really given us a lot of trouble. Deidara, it's been hard on you. You don't look so good. And your cheek is bleeding."

Deidara shook his head. "It's nothing, Pein. A kunai injured me. It's just that - I guess I lost my keychain during the fight with one of the members from Team Defence...I just realized it when we were about to reach this apartment."

Konan looked concerned. "You should really go take a rest. The competition starts in a month's time. You need to save your energy for it - we don't want you to tire yourself out while training the newbie. Don't worry about the keychain, I'll try to help you find it."

Deidara gave a weak smile. "Thanks, Konan," he replied gratefully, and retired to his room. As he took off his ripped cloak and threw it on his study table, he lay down on his bed, feeling tired. He didn't feel so good losing the keychain; it had been his most prized possession. The sound of the music in the keychain would always lull him to sleep, and pull him through his darkest hours. Now he was without it, he felt a little uncomfortable.

But he knew that he had no time to worry about it - anyway, it seemed that it was gone for good already. Though he felt sad, there was no time to find the keychain. He had lots of practicing to do for the competition, and he didn't want to let his team down by losing. A keychain couldn't get in the way of his practice.

Little did he know that his keychain was in Sasori's hands, and that the keychain would come back to him someday.